Hazards Mapper and HazPop Mobile App
The Hazards Mapper online mapping application and the related Hazards and Population Mapper (HazPop) mobile application for iPhone users enable users to visualize data and map layers related to selected natural hazards, population, infrastructure, and other environmental parameters and to assess potential population exposure. The tools were designed for disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, and journalists.
Hazards data include the location of active fires over the past 48 hours, earthquake alerts over the past seven days, and yesterday's air pollution data measured from space. Both apps show the location of major dams and nuclear power plants, and provide more detailed information and imagery for these facilities where available. By drawing a polygon or circle around a point or area of interest on the map, users can obtain an estimate of the total population and land area enclosed within.
Developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, the apps combine data and map layers from various sources, including NASA's Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) and Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other organizations using a variety of open web mapping services. The custom population estimates are provided by the SEDAC Population Estimation Service (PES), based on SEDAC's Gridded Population of the World, version 4 (GPWv4) data for 2015.
The HazPop mobile app is available through the iTunes store for IOS/iPhones. The mobile app supports a number of other functions, including:
- Monitoring regions around an area of interest, e.g., hazardous area prone to natural disasters, major infrastructure, or densely populated areas;
- Sorting dams, nuclear power plants, or earthquakes by proximity to your location or by their characteristics; and
- Determining the distance from your location to any point on the map or between any two points on the map.
The SEDAC Hazards Mapper and the HazPop app are designed to be used by disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, journalists, and others needing a quick assessment of the potential dangers posed by a major hazardous event or developing emergency. For example, a disaster response agency can obtain a rough estimate of the population and major facilities near a recent flood as an input into response planning. Journalists or students can explore the location of recent wildfires relative to dense populations, roads, terrain, and water bodies.
Due to the coarse resolution and varying quality of some of the data, the applications are not intended to support in-depth risk assessment or location-specific response needs.